Drought Impact: Hummingbirds Hardships

Thousands of migrating hummingbirds heading through our state could be threatened by drought conditions. The heat has dried out resources leaving little to no nectar for the birds. 

Wild Bird Rescue tells Newschannel 6 from now until the beginning of October at least 18 species of hummingbirds are expected to migrate through the area. The tiny birds will need all the food and water they can get.

Wild Bird Rescue also says that bird feeders will help the hummingbirds recharge along their migrating journey.

Hummingbirds may be small in size but their fascinating beauty and fast movements make them a favorite to many and they will soon be flying our way.

Penny Miller, a Wild Bird Rescue volunteer says, "The hummingbirds have started to pick up in numbers and they are already coming through. For many of them because they are so small and it is such a large trip, they require a lot of food. They have a high metabolism."

Penny Miller says it is migration time and the hummingbirds are passing through and are headed down to Central and South America. But because of the drought there is not much natural food for them in the here. That is a huge problem.

Miller comments, "If they can't find food they are going to die because they just don't have the reserves to make that long of a trip without anything."

If there are fewer hummingbirds our ecosystem will take a hit. Hummingbirds help pollinate and also eat small insects and nats. They are also prey for larger animals because of their size.

And it looks like people here are already helping these tiny birds because Smiths Gardentown Farms, in Wichita Falls says sales for feeders are up.

Bill Henderson, the wild bird manager at Smith's Gardentown Farms says, "It is important for the birds, but it is also an enjoyment for the people. You can be outside or you can be inside and watch them come to the feeder."

If you do buy a feeder it is important that you freshen the sugar water every three to four days. The heat can cause the liquid inside the feeder to spoil or grow bacteria.

Staff from Smith's Gardentown say to hang feeders head height and out of the sun. Hummingbirds also like shallow bird baths.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6